BT Mobile vs EE: the key differences and similarities in 4G speeds, WiFi calling, pricing and deals in 2019
We look at the key differences in 2018 between BT Mobile and EE, which use the same network: 4G speeds, features like WiFi calling, plus their pricing and deals. Last updated: May 14th 2018.
In our BT Mobile vs EE guide
✔ Mobile coverage on EE and BT
✔ 4G speeds compared
✔ WiFi calling facilities
✔ Free WiFi hotspot access
Products and deals
✔ Joining rewards
✔ SIM only plan pricing
✔ Smartphone ranges compared
Extra perks and benefits
✔ BT Sport app subscriptions
✔ Free access to Apple Music
Latest deals notification
BT Mobile's £115 Reward Card offers
Same: Coverage on BT Mobile and EE is identical
✔ You'll get the same strength signal on either network
✔ Identical coverage on EE and BT Mobile
The EE mobile network is still the biggest in the UK. That means you've got a better chance of being covered by their signal than any other network in the UK.
BT Mobile uses that EE network to bring their customers signal. So if you’re using the same phone, there’s no good reason you won’t have exactly the same number of bars on BT Mobile as you would EE.
In short, if you’re thinking of switching from one to the other, there’s no need to have any concerns about a change in the mobile signal strength you’ll receive from either BT or EE.
Want to be doubly sure? Use the official checkers below for extra re-assurance:
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Different: 4G speeds on EE and BT Mobile
They use the same network so you might expect the same speeds. But we've found the networks have built in different speeds to their products:
✔ EE's standard and top 4G speeds are now faster than BT Mobile's
✔ EE's top speed depends on your planSee EE speed tiers
Unlike every other major UK network, EE offer different 4G speeds depending on the plan that you take with them (BT Mobile are the only other network doing this).
All EE's pay monthly plans come with a top speed of 60Mbps as standard. That's faster than most home broadband connections. And you get it on every EE SIM only and smartphone contract.
EE's more-premium Max Plans get you a higher 4G+ speed and some extra roaming destinations but are available only on phone contracts (not SIMs). We'd expect this speed to reach 90Mbps but is available only in larger cities (check if yours has 4G+ here).
Remember these are effectively speed limits (the fastest you can go). They're not a promise of the actual download speed you'll receive on average. See section below for our tips before you pay for more speed.
Useful link: Learn about EE's faster 4G+ speeds in their guide.
✔ BT's standard 4G speed is slower than EE's but is still superfast at 30Mbps
✔ You can pay more to go faster on BT Mobile tooSee extra speed costs
As standard, all BT Mobile's plans come with a top speed of 30Mbps, which is now 50% slower than EE's basic level but still classified as superfast (anything above 24Mbps).
That's a speed that will comfortably support video streaming without buffering, even in HD, as well as superfast web page loading. But if you do want to go faster, you can pay for an upgrade on BT Mobile too:
You do this by paying for an 'Extra speed add-on', which in our last check cost £4 extra a month.
This will boost your fastest downloads to a superfast 60Mbps, the same as EE's standard. There's currently no option on BT to go as fast as EE's top speeds around an estimated 90Mbps.
Useful link: Read about Extra Speed add-ons on the official BT Mobile website.
Should you pay more for extra 4G speed?
✔ Make sure higher speeds are available near you
From tests, we'd expect the average 4G speed delivered over the EE network to sit at around 31 Mbps - so barely beyond BT's standard speed.
This is because the faster technology to go beyond this is not yet rolled out in every area across the country.
So before you go for a more expensive higher speed plan with either EE or BT Mobile, we recommend checking the promised speeds are actually currently available where you're going to use your phone.
Below are two quick ways to do this with your preferred provider:
Shown on map as "Extra Speed" (approx 60Mbps)
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Shown on map as 'Double speed 4GEE' (approx 60Mbps)
Or 4G+ (approx 90Mbps)
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Similar: WiFi calling
Sometimes you don't have a signal but do have WiFi. That's where WiFi calling steps in.
What differences are there on EE and BT Mobile?
✔ EE have WiFi calling but your phone needs to be supported
✔ Make calls and send texts over WiFiSee supported devices
Even on the UK's biggest network, you can find yourself somewhere with little or no mobile signal, like underground or in a large building.
EE's WiFi calling lets you make and take calls like normal but over WiFi instead of mobile signal.
There's no separate app to download. Instead, your phone needs to have software already installed on it for WiFi calling to work. Most high-spec phones bought direct from EE should already have this.
Useful link: Full information on supported devices in EE's help guide.
✔ BT Mobile now have WiFi calling too
✔ Make sure your phone's supported thoughSee supported phones
WiFi calling used to be one of the main differences between EE and BT Mobile (EE had it, BT didn't) but that's just changed: you can now use it on BT too.
You'll need a phone that BT Mobile supports and it's preferable to have bought it from them in the first place (because it needs the correct software pre-installed on it to guarantee WiFi calling will work).
At the moment, we're a little concerned that the list of guaranteed supported devices is still quite short if you have an Android phone. iPhones from iPhone 5s and up will work.
But otherwise, this WiFi calling is one less difference you need to think about if you're deciding between EE and BT Mobile.
Useful link: See BT Mobile's new WiFi calling feature
Different: Free WiFi hotspot access on EE vs BT Mobile
When a mobile network gives you access to free WiFi hotspots, it helps you save mobile data. Here we look at the differences on EE and BT:
Free WiFi hotspot access on BT Mobile is way better
✔ Free access to 5 million hotspotsSee free hotspots
When you join BT Mobile on a smartphone contract or a SIM only plan, you're automatically entitled to free access to BT WiFi, their network of 5 million free WiFi hotspots in UK (and 13 million abroad).
The kind of locations you can get free WiFi include shopping centres, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, public transport hubs and other places on the high street.
The WiFi is free, unlimited and fast. Connecting to it lets you save on your monthly mobile data allowance too.
Download BT's WiFi app and your phone will automatically connect when it's in range of a free hotspot, without you having to manually login yourself.
Useful link: See all BT Mobile freebies and extras (including free BT WiFi)
Free WiFi on EE is a lot more limited than BT
✔ Get free WiFi on the London Underground with EERead how
Compared to what you get on BT Mobile for free WiFi, EE's offering is actually quite restricted.
Instead of free access to 5 million hotspots, you'll get free WiFi on the Underground in London.
This is obviously still very handy particularly when you combine it with their WiFi calling feature but not as comprehensive as BT's offering.
It could also mean you burn through your monthly data more quickly on EE if it's not so easy to offload it onto WiFi when you're out and about.
Useful link: How to get free WiFi on the Underground with EE (from their help section).
One of the biggest differences between BT Mobile and EE is the extent of their special offers:
✔ BT Mobile's joining offers tend to be more generous than EE's
Where EE have been positioned as a superior premium brand, BT Mobile have a bit more flexibility to throw generous offers at new customers. And they almost always have a joining reward promotion running.
The most frequent offers recently have been free pre-paid Mastercard Reward Cards, which they offer on SIM only plans and smartphones most months. And it's not just their own broadband customers that can benefit.
What's truly impressive about these deals is the value of the Reward Cards (sometimes up to £100 on smartphone plans), which often exceed 4x or 5x the monthly cost of the plan you're joining on.
Useful link: See latest BT Mobile Reward Card offers in our guide
✔ EE £21 for 20GB SIM only deal
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The best pricing on EE's 12-month SIMs this focusses on ones with the largest amount of data. The bigger you go, the better value:
Meanwhile, if you're after a smartphone contract, be sure to look at the page here for iPhone deals on EE, and the one here for Samsung Galaxy plans, which show all the promotional plans EE have this month.
Useful link: See all EE's latest offers > (opens in new tab)
SIM only on EE and BT
How do EE and BT Mobile stack up in terms of monthly costs of their SIM only deals?
✔ BT Mobile's SIM only plans tend to be cheaper than EE
Using our tool below to compare EE and BT Mobile's SIM only plans, you'll notice BT's deals are generally cheaper. Even if you don't have BT broadband at home, which gets you an additional £5 monthly discount.
Both EE and BT Mobile only sell 12-month SIM only contracts online, although you can get a 30-day one with EE if you go into one of their stores.
Compare their SIM only plans
Use the filters below to quickly compare the latest SIM plans on EE and BT Mobile
Choose what you want in your deal:
Choose which networks you'd consider:
mins | texts | data on 3G or 4G - edit search
( possibilities) on any length contract.
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Use these filters to make your search more specific
✔ BT's Family SIMs offer further discounts on multiple SIMs
Even if you're only currently looking for a deal yourself, it's worth knowing about BT Mobile Family SIMs, which let you add extra SIMs to your account at discounted prices.
You either add the SIMs when you first join BT Mobile or you can them on later. And they're on shorter 30-day contracts, so can be dropped easily if you don't need them any more.
The savings range from £2 a month up to approximately £10 per SIM (varies according to plan and current pricing), so can add up pretty quicky.
EE have previously offered Shared Plans but these don't seem to be available any more on SIM only (only their mobile broadband plans).
Useful link: See how much you can save in BT's Family SIM guide.
Smartphone contracts on EE and BT Mobile
We look at what phones you can get and their pricing to see what's similar and different:
Choose a manufacturer
Which make of phone do you want?
Find a plan for your phone
Choose what you want from your deal
Any upfront cost
Choose which networks you'd consider:
EE have a broader range of phones than BT
✔ EE have a bigger phone range than BT MobileSee the phones
While BT focus only on the most popular phones, there's a much bigger choice at EE, including manufacturers you can't get on BT, like LG and Huawei.
Of course, favourites like iPhone and Samsung Galaxy are also available too, all on 24-month contracts with a choice of 4G speed.
Useful link: See all phones on EE.
BT Mobile smartphones are well priced and normally come with pre-paid Reward Cards
✔ There are often Reward Cards with BT's phone contractsCompare phone plans
Compared to EE, BT Mobile have a smaller range of phones but they still have the most popular models including the latest Samsung Galaxy, iPhone and Google Pixel handsets.
In general smartphones probably work out slightly cheaper on BT Mobile, particularly if you have their broadband at home.
If you order at the right time too, you'll be able to claim a pre-paid Mastercard that can be used instead of cash practically anwhere, and can claw back 1 or 2 months of the monthly cost of your phone.
Useful link: Find your best phone plan on BT Mobile
Different: Free BT Sport App access
You can get access to the BT Sport app free with both BT Mobile and EE but there are few differences in the conditions:
3 months of free BT Sport app access on EE
✔ EE give you the app free for 3 monthsHow you get it
On EE pay monthly plans you'll get free access to the BT Sport app with a few conditions:
Every customer on a SIM or phone contract gets at least 3 months of free access, after which you'll automatically be charged for the service on your bill (see the latest costs here).
When you're coming to the end of the free trial you'll get a text from EE reminding you the service is about to be chargeable.
If you join on one of EE's more premium Max Plans, you'll get free acess for the whole of your contract (these plan are now only available on phone contracts, not SIM only).
Useful link: How to get the BT Sport app with an EE deal
BT Mobile have scrapped free BT Sport app access!
✔ Free BT Sport app for all of your contractSee the app
It used to be the case that when you joined BT Mobile on either a smartphone or SIM only plan with 6GB data or more, you'd get free access to the BT Sport app included.
Now it seems to have been removed as a benefit. Odd when you consider BT is a company with so much TV and sports content.
Either way, this is a new differentiator between joining EE and BT Mobile.
Useful link: Find out about the BT Sport app.
Different: EE offer 6 months free Apple Music, BT Mobile do not
✔ Only EE offer 6 months free Apple MusicHow it works
One thing you’ll get on EE, which BT Mobile do not offer, is the ability to add 6 months free Apple Music to any of Pay Monthly SIM only or smartphone plan, even if you've already added BT Sport app access.
Apple Music offers millions of songs and podcasts to stream to your mobile and works on Android and iOS phones.
And now during those 6 months, the data you use for streaming Apple Music won't come out of your monthly plan.
After the first 6 months, you will be charged for the service via your mobile bill (read full terms at the bottom of the page here).
BT Mobile don’t currently offer any similar music streaming services.
Useful link: How to get Apple Music free with EE